A six-run second inning was the difference in a 9-1 loss for the Fort Lewis College softball team on Friday, playing in an elimination game versus Colorado Mesa University in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament.
The Skyhawks' season comes to an end with an overall record of 20-31, an impressive mark after starting the season 0-14. The team was stout at home, playing to a 15-9 record which propelled the group into the No. 6-seed in the RMAC Tournament. Fort Lewis has much to look forward to, graduating just one senior in catcher Taylor Beaman as they look ahead to the second season under head coach Dwight Sanders and assistant coach Paige Gumz.
Fort Lewis came into the elimination game with contagious energy which carried into the first at-bats of the game. Alex Tenorio led off the game with her 23rd extra-base hit of the season and advance to third when Katie Pippel singled to left field. Cat Rodman stepped up with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to plate Tenorio from third for a 1-0 lead. Colorado Mesa bit back in the bottom of the inning after loading up the bases with two walks and a hit by pitch. A sharp single to center field scored two, bringing the score to 2-1 in favor of the host team.
The real damage came in the second inning when a two-out rally put the Mavericks well ahead. A pair of fielding errors allowed the score to shift to 4-1, then a single and three-run homer extended the lead to 8-1 before a groundout to Amiee Shanks closed the door. The score held as the game moved into the fifth inning without much fanfare. Colorado Mesa picked up a leadoff triple that took a tough bounce off the wall in right field to cross up Pippel. Shanks pitched into a groundout to Tenorio at short, but a pinch-hit single to left-center scored the runner from third to end the game in five innings.